Announcing the CyArk 500 Advisory Council

Heritage Experts Guide Decisions on Identifying Most Critical Heritage Sites to Digitally Preserve

In advance of the CyArk 500 Challenge Launch & Conference, which will take place this October 20-22 at the Tower of London, CyArk has convened a body of heritage experts to serve on the CyArk 500 Advisory Council. This group has been tasked with assisting CyArk’s development of a slate of Selection Criteria, which will determine whether a heritage site merits inclusion in the CyArk 500 Challenge.

The Advisory Council members come from all over the world and have generously donated their time and input to this groundbreaking effort. Of the Council, CyArk founder Ben Kacyra said, “we are proud to have such a panel of experts to work with us towards fulfilling our critical mission of digital preservation of endangered heritage sites.” Serving in Executive roles for the Council, CyArk is pleased to have:

  • Mr. Gustavo Araoz, President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS); Chairman of the CyArk 500 Advisory Council
  • Dr. David Mitchell, Director of Conservation for Historic Scotland; Vice Chair for the CyArk 500 Advisory Council

Additionally, CyArk is pleased to introduce the following members of the Council:

Drawing on their different spheres of expertise, the Advisory Council has helped guide the formation of CyArk’s 500 Selection Criteria, which will be announced at the CyArk 500 Launch & Conference this October. The CyArk 500 is the CyArk’s groundbreaking initiative to work with partners from governments, heritage agencies and sites, and 3D scanning service providers around the globe to digitally document and archive 500 world heritage sites in five years’ time. While CyArk will continue to conduct projects at sites all over the world, the 500 Selection Criteria will serve as a guide to define the sites which are the most deserving of inclusion in the new CyArk 500 Challenge. Using the Selection Criteria, the Advisory Council will regularly convene and determine which sites will be a part of the CyArk 500 Challenge.

CyArk is honored to have the support of these great minds in the heritage community, and we look forward to unveiling the 500 Selection Criteria as well as the first “Exemplar” sites to show the potential of digital preservation at the special CyArk 500 Launch & Conference event at the Tower of London, this October 20-22.

About CyArk
CyArk, a non-profit organization with offices in Oakland, California and Edinburgh, Scotland is dedicated to protecting the world’s heritage by using cutting-edge technologies to digitally document heritage sites around the world and securely archiving the data for future generations in our archive. Today, CyArk uses the data to enhance heritage site conservation, to support innovative, curriculum-based learning, and generates project portals to provide free public access to these incredible sites through our website (

About the CyArk 500 Challenge
On October 20-22 at the Tower of London, CyArk will formally launch the CyArk 500 Challenge, an unprecedented initiative to digitally document and archive 500 cultural heritage sites within the next five years. CyArk is on a mission to save cultural heritage sites digitally before more are ravaged by war, terrorism, arson, urban sprawl, climate change, earthquakes, floods, and other threats. While there isn’t enough money or time to physically save every site, CyArk does have the 3D technology to preserve these sites digitally to make them available for future generations. For more information, visit:

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